We began our brief waterfall trek at a restaurant, where local drivers and tour guides hang out and smoke while tourists eat and drink. Moments before we were ready to start out, it began to pour, with water falling in torrents off the warung’s roof. I declared that due to inclement weather, I would leave my camera in the car for the hike.
“No!!!” the guides despaired, “You cannot hike without the camera! How will you take pictures??” When I said I’d simply remember it, they got so exasperated that I ultimately gave up and took the camera.
The photos were nice, but I didn’t need them; the best part of the experience was talking with our guide.
We’ve become a species more inclined to capture moments on film than experience them fully. I love taking photos, but seeing something through a camera lens distances you from it. So don’t be afraid to leave the phone/tablet/camera behind once in awhile and just let yourself be immersed. Your takeaway might end up being something entirely different.